As a phenomenon defining the modern age, the internet has been considered the preserve of the younger generations – creating a huge obstacle in encouraging and teaching older people to become computer-literate. This view – that the Internet is a young person’s game - is held not only by both tech giants, who have little to gain from engaging with the grey market, but by many older people themselves, who have been happy to remain disengaged.
Tech developers and the elderly alike often consider the internet as a way of ‘keeping up’ with the 21st century – a way of moving with the times for fear of being left behind. With this approach, it’s no wonder many people over a certain age feel reluctant to learn – whether that’s because of apathy or because of fear. ‘Keeping up with the youngsters’ isn’t working as a persuasive incentive to get older people online. But showing them the countless ways that the Internet is perhaps even better suited to an older person’s lifestyle may be.
If mobility is an issue, the virtual world could be the solution to many problems. Keeping in touch with family and friends across the globe has never been easier. Revisiting the past with all your photos at your fingertips and ordering the groceries for home delivery are only a few clicks away. Apps to jog our memory and record our diets and fitness serve an even more necessary purpose for someone in their older years. Catch-up TV is even more valuable to those who are confined to one place.